Flooding hasn’t stopped Twin Cities sewage treatment

The Pigs Eye treatment facility on the Mississippi River in St. Paul treats more than 250 million gallons a day of whatever we send down our drains and toilets.

And the word is that everything is fine.

Normally the treated effluent flows into the Mississippi River, but the river is higher than the stream, so the gates have been closed. Here’s how the Metropolitan Council describes what’s happening:

At normal river levels, the plant’s treated wastewater can simply flow through an outfall to the river by gravity. At flood stage, the plant closes gates at the outfall to keep the swollen river from backflowing into the plant, and activates large pumps to push the treated wastewater into the river. These measures were put into place on March 22, and will continue as long as necessary.

The emergency back-up plan in case of a historic flood was to use helicopters to get employees to and from work at the sprawling plant. But that won’t be necessary at this point.

Metro Plant Effluent Channel.JPG

Metro plant effluent channel, where treated wastewater is being pumped into the river. Notice flooding of the plant service road, left side of photo.

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